Another Appeals Court Upholds IRS’s Time Limit on Spousal Relief Requests

Married joint return filers are jointly and severally liable for the tax arising from their returns. Innocent spouses may request relief from this liability in certain circumstances. An IRS regulation states that a request for equitable innocent spouse relief must be no later than two years from the first collection activity against the spouse. The Tax Court had found this regulation invalidly imposed a time limit. However, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has reversed the Tax Court and upheld the regulation (as have the Courts of Appeals for the Third and Seventh Circuits).

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